Age-related changes in bone mineral content and density in intact male F344 rats

J. Banu, L. Wang, D. N. Kalu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to determine whether age-related bone loss occurs in intact male F344 rats. Bone loss was assessed in male F344 rats aged 3 to 27 months by scanning different bones using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) densitometry. Cancellous and cortical bones were analyzed at the vertebra, proximal tibial metaphysis (PTM), and the neck of the femur. Cortical bone was also analyzed at the tibial and femoral diaphysis and at the tibio-fibula junction. In the vertebra, cancellous bone mineral content (Cn. BMC) did not change significantly with age. Cancellous bone mineral density (Cn. BMD) gradually decreased from 9 months onwards; and at 27 months of age, there was a 29% (p < 0.0001) decrease, when compared with 9-month-old animals. No significant change was observed in cortical bone mineral content (Ct. BMC) and cortical bone mineral density (Ct. BMD) with age. In the PTM, bone loss started to occur after 18 months of age. At 27 months of age, Cn. BMC decreased by 58% (p < 0.0001) and Cn. BMD also decreased by 58% (p < 0.0001). Ct. BMC decreased by 28% (p < 0.0001) in 27-month-old animals, whereas Ct. BMD was not affected by aging. At the tibio-fibula junction, Ct. BMC and Ct. BMD decreased after 18 months of age. At 27 months, Ct. BMC and Ct. BMD had decreased by 8% (p < 0.001) and 3% (p < 0.0001), respectively. Ct. BMC in the tibial diaphysis did not change significantly with age, whereas Ct. BMD decreased by 1% (p < 0.05) at 27 months. In the neck of the femur, Cn. BMC increased up to 24 months of age. Cn. BMD increased up to 18 months of age and decreased by 9% (p < 0.05) at 24 months and 11% (p < 0.001) at 27 months of age when compared with 18-month-old animals. Ct. BMC and Ct. BMD increased with age. In conclusion, although some components of the PTM decreased appreciably with age, in this study, most of the bone parameters analyzed either increased or did not change significantly with age. We conclude that unlike male Sprague Dawley rats, male F344 rats appear not to be a good model for studying age-related bone loss as occurs in aging men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Bone loss
  • Male F344 rats
  • pQCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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